Antarctica v.2

Earth Gauge staffer Ann Posegate and broadcast meteorologist Dan Satterfield visited Antarctica in January 2010, learning about ice core drilling, touring the worlds driest desert and of course, photographing penguins. The content below highlights their 10-day trip to the end of the world to learn about cutting-edge research.

 

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West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide Ice Core Drilling Project

June 28th, 2010

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide ice core drilling project is a major paleoclimate study funded by the National Science Foundation and comprised of 30 individual projects from 16 universities around the United States. Dr. Kendrick Taylor, chief scientist of the Desert Research Institute, is the Principal Investigator. Read a fact sheet about the [...]

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AMS Antarctica Presentation

June 22nd, 2010

Download Dan Satterfield’s presentation and video clips about the Antarctica expedition, delivered with his travel partner, Ann Posegate, at the AMS Broadcast Meteorology Meeting in Miami, FL. PowerPoint presentation PDF file of presentation Videos that were included in the presentation (available for download): Dan’s Intro to Antarctica Video (Slide 26 in PPT) Dan’s South Pole [...]

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Ann’s Antarctica Adventure

April 7th, 2010

Earth Gauge staffer Ann Posegate visited Antarctica in 2010, learning about ice core drilling, touring the worlds driest desert and of course, photographing penguins. Her video highlights the 10-day trip to the end of the world to learn about cutting-edge research. Earth Gauge video, tips and resources may be used freely on-air and online. Use [...]

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South Pole Physics: Ice Cube and the South Pole Telescope

March 26th, 2010

The South Pole is home to two of the most powerful telescopes on Earth: Ice Cube and the South Pole Telescope. Neither look at visible light. Both are studying the origin of the Universe, but in very different ways. The Ice Cube project (http://icecube.wisc.edu) detects neutrinos — invisible high-energy particles that can only be detected when [...]

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South Pole Sunset Brings Six Months of Darkness

March 22nd, 2010

While the 2010 spring season has sprung in the Northern Hemisphere, winter has begun in Antarctica. The last edge of the sun dipped below the horizon at the South Pole, 90 degrees South latitude, at 2:01 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on March 22  (9:01 a.m. on March 23 South Pole/New Zealand time). Six months of [...]

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South Pole Greenhouse Feeds Winter Crew, Simulates Lunar Chamber

March 1st, 2010

At the bottom of the Earth, atop a land mass covered with a two mile-thick slab of ice, sits the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station where 40 to 60 people live and work during each long, dark, bitter-cold winter. On the first floor of the station, near the end of hallway is a small greenhouse. Since [...]

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Q & A with South Pole Meteorologist

February 19th, 2010

Timothy Markle is the meteorology manager at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. Here’s what he has to say about weather and climate at the Pole. What is a typical day like at South Pole? A typical day here in the summer months at the meteorology department is really to observe the weather here (right now we [...]

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What To Do with Waste in Antarctica

February 8th, 2010

With little precipitation, nearly constant below-freezing temperatures and very little exposed soil, very little decomposition takes place in Antarctica. In the early years of the now 53-year-old United States Antarctic Program (USAP), solid waste was incinerated, buried under ice or dumped off the coast and in a would-be landfill near McMurdo Station. The Antarctic Conservation [...]

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Adélie Penguins and Sea Ice

January 29th, 2010

Adélie penguins are one of only two penguin species that breed on the Antarctic continent (the other being Emperor penguins). Adélies build their nests on small stretches of land along parts of the Antarctic coast that are not ice-covered. The health and location of their colonies are directly related to the amount of sea ice [...]

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Monitoring the Air at the South Pole

January 25th, 2010

Nick Morgan, station chief at the South Pole Atmospheric Research Observatory (ARO), and his team monitor baseline atmospheric parameters at the Pole, including carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, stratospheric ozone levels, solar radiation, temperature and aerosols. Basically, ARO analyzes the individual atmospheric components that drive climate. Scripps Oceanographic Institute began monitoring air at the [...]

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The Dry Valleys: Antarctica’s Ice-Free Region

January 15th, 2010

Polygons of permafrost, liquid lakes that leak from towering glaciers, stark-white ice emerging from rocky Grand Canyon-like landscapes: this is the McMurdo Dry Valleys region of Antarctica. Ecologically, a desert is an ecosystem that receives less than 10 inches of precipitation per year. Despite the fact that 98 percent of Antarctica is covered with ice, [...]

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Stuck at the South Pole: An Altitude Adjustment

January 13th, 2010

Ann Posegate discusses the media expedition to the South Pole: There are some experiences in life that you just won’t forget. Then they are those that only few humans in our history have had the chance to experience – in fact, those that humans are not supposed to experience. Visiting the South Pole is one [...]

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South Pole or Bust

January 11th, 2010

Yesterday, Ann and Dan spent a (relatively) warm and sunny day at McMurdo Station.  In addition to spotting some Adelie penguins, they watched the southern-most rugby game in the world, played near New Zealand’s Scott Base between the Kiwis and Americans…the Kiwis won. (Photo courtesy of Dan Satterfield.) Today, our traveling reporters are visiting the South Pole – the geographic bottom of the [...]

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Arrival and “Ivan the Terra Bus”

January 8th, 2010

After a five-hour flight, Ann and Dan landed safely on the Pegasus Ice Runway and boarded “Ivan the Terra Bus” snow tractor for a one-hour drive over the Ross Ice Shelf to McMurdo Station.  Weather upon their arrival was “Condition 3″ – winds less than 48 knots (about 55 mph), wind chills warmer than -75 degrees Fahrenheit and [...]

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Weather Causes Flight to Boomerang

January 6th, 2010

Read Ann Posegate’s account of the group’s first flight attempt and the weather conditions that have delayed their arrival in Antarctica.  Photos from the flight are available below. Jan. 6, 2010, 3:00 p.m. (New Zealand time) Boomerang: Return to the initial position from where it came. I am currently in a U.S. Air National Guard [...]

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Preparation for the Flight South

January 4th, 2010

The base of operations for the United States Antarctic Program (USAP) is the International Antarctic Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand. Before arriving at the Centre, USAP participants must complete medical and dental clearance, as well as training on information security and protecting Antarctica’s environment. Upon arrival, they are given an introductory safety training regarding travel [...]

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